…pact of timelessness….

And so the pact of timelessness between us was broken and I went from him into the darkening tunnel of the year – Farley Mowat

Yesterday, a great Canadian writer, Farley Mowat, passed away. He lived a long and meaningful life. His impact on mine began a long time ago.

When I was about 8 years old, my mother, a journalist, went to interview Farley Mowat and she took me with her. I’m not exactly sure why I was able to go with her, but it was not unusual for me to be with my mom, a single parent, when she was working. One of my earliest – and fondest memories – was sitting on the floor while she recorded a piece for CBC radio.

This event, this interview, was at a time when I was beginning to question things like Santa Claus and other magical aspects of childhood. And yet, I was fortunate enough to meet a great storyteller, who coincidentally had a big beard and a ruddy face – undoubtedly from years of living outdoors. He did not make me believe any more deeply in Santa Claus, but rather in something more lasting.

I don’t remember a single thing he said to me, I only remember how he spoke to me,  not as a child, but as a budding reader. And I remember how I felt after my mom and I headed home: that reading was the most important way to spend my time. That the world was available to me within the pages of a book. I came away believing in a different kind of magic. The magic of the written word.

That magic has never left me. And I have always remained deeply connected to Canadian writers and the stories that they tell about the lives that can only be lived here. My favourite book, the Diviners, is by a Canadian author, Margaret Laurence.

There is much to be learned from Mowat’s work. He was an activist and a controversial figure. For me, he was a catalyst to read and learn more.

Photo 34

You never know when the devil might come calling – Farley Mowat. 

8 Replies to “…pact of timelessness….”

  1. Bravo for this wonderful tribute — to Farley Mowat, but also to your mum and the world that she (and he) helped open up for you. (And aren’t we lucky, to have grown up with CBC radio?)

    Like

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